Mark Letestu Interview & Highlights | Mark Letestu Interview on 630 CHED
The Oilers have agreed to terms with free agent centre Mark Letestu on a three-year contract.
Letestu, 30, has played 318 NHL games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. The Elk Point, AB native has 127 points (58-69-127) in his career and has played 17 playoff games, recording a goal and three assists.
In 2014-15, Letestu posted 13 points (7-6-13) in 54 games for the Blue Jackets. His best NHL season came in 2013-14 when he scored 12 goals and added 22 assists for a career high 34 points.
He was 52.9% on faceoffs this past season.
Letestu played college hockey at Western Michigan University for one season before going pro.
The Oilers have agreed to terms with free agent defenceman Andrej Sekera on a six-year contract.
Sekera, 29, is a 486-game NHL veteran. He has played for the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings since joining the league as a third-round pick (71st overall) in 2004.
Sekera has 159 points (31-128-159) in his NHL career. In 2014-15, Sekera played 57 games for the Hurricanes, scoring two goals and adding 17 assists. He was traded to Los Angeles on February 25, and played 16 games, scoring a goal and adding three assists.
His best NHL production, point-wise, came in 2013-14 when he recorded 44 points (11-33-44) in 74 games for Carolina.
He is a 6-foot-0, 201-pound native of Slovakia. He represented his country at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Oilers have announced they have traded centre Boyd Gordon to the Arizona Coyotes, in exchange for winger Lauri Korpikoski.
Korpikoski, 28, is a left winger from Finland. He was taken 19th overall in the first round of the 2004 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward has played in 469 NHL games over the course of his career and has recorded 68 goals, 91 assists and 112 penalty minutes. He has played 30 NHL playoff games, scoring two goals and adding three assists.
In 2014-15, Korpikoski scored six goals and added 15 assists for 21 points in 69 games with Arizona.
Gordon returns to the Coyotes where he played from 2011-2013.
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Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today the club has issued qualifying offers to defencemen Brandon Davidson and Justin Schultz, as well as winger Tyler Pitlick.
Schultz, 24, is the most experienced of the three. He has played 203 NHL games, recording 91 points (25-66-91), for the Oilers since the 2012-13 season. In 2014-15, Schultz played 81 games, posting six goals, 25 assists, 12 penalty minutes and a -17 rating.
Davidson, 23, was taken 162nd overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut this past season on December 10, 2014. He scored his first NHL goal on March 30, 2015. Davidson played 55 games this season for the Oklahoma City Barons in the American Hockey League, recording 10 points (4-6-10) and 43 penalty minutes and a +10 rating.
Pitlick, 23, played 17 NHL games this season, scoring two goals. He has played 27 NHL games in his career since being taken 31st overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. He had nine points (3-6-9) in 14 AHL games this season with the Barons.
Former Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger has been inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Pronger joins Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov and Phil Housley as the four players in the Class of 2015.
Pronger played just one season for the Oilers in 2005-06, recording 56 points (12-44-56) and 74 penalty minutes. In the Oilers ’06 Cup run, Pronger posted 21 points (5-16-21) in 24 games.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound defenceman has played 1,167 NHL games in his career for the Oilers, the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers. Pronger won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007.
Pronger, 40, won the 1997 World Championship with Canada. He is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist and won gold at the 1993 World Junior Championship.
Pronger was a workhorse, averaging more than 30 minutes per game in two seasons with the Blues and more than 25 minutes per game every season from 1998-99 to 2009-10.
The Oilers made Caleb Jones the 117th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Sports run in the family.
His father, Popeye Jones is a retired NBA player. His older brothers play hockey and one of them, Seth, was the fourth overall pick of the Nashville Predators in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Needless to say, they’re a competitive bunch. Caleb enjoyed the thought of maybe one day playing against Seth. What is the first thing he’d do?
“Ask him to fight probably,” Jones laughed. “No, but it will be good. We’ve always had battles. Even in basketball, 1-on-1, or on the ice when we were just practicing together. Maybe seeing him on the other side of the blue line one day would be pretty fun.”
Caleb compares his style of play to Seth.
“I think I play a bit like my brother,” said the 6-foot-0, 194-pound defenceman. “I think we’re both two-way defencemen. I think I’m more of a physical and aggressive player than he is but I say, in sense of the whole entire game, we’re pretty alike.”
Seth helps his younger brother train in the off-season.
“He’s been really big for me,” said Caleb. “I’ve trained with him the past three summers and he’s really pushed me. He’s consistent with his work ethic every day. It has really taught me what it takes to get to the next level and be a pro.”
Cam Talbot says the Oilers expressed interest in him as soon as the season ended. That interest got real serious on Saturday, with the Oilers eventually trading three draft picks to the New York Rangers to acquire the 27-year-old goaltender.
“I was excited to come to a team that has so much potential and upside right now,” said Talbot. “They’re kind of rebuilding and retooling. It’s going to be an exciting time and I’m very excited to be a part of it.”
Talbot has watched the Oilers very closely over the last few months. He watched as they made Bob Nicholson CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group, added Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, and then when they hired Todd McLellan as their new Head Coach.
“I’ve definitely been paying attention to all those changes because, as soon as our season ended, I knew Edmonton was one of the teams that was interested,” said Talbot. “When you hear that, you start to notice all the changes they’re making and it feels like they’ve made a lot of great changes for the organization. They’re definitely heading in the right direction. I’m definitely excited to be a part of it.”
Talbot has also paid attention to the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. He’s excited to join this year’s number one overall pick.
“I know the hype but I haven’t really had a chance to see him play,” said Talbot. “With all the hype, it’s going to be an exciting time. From what I hear, he’s going to be a generational player. Any time you can get a player like that and throw him into the mix with all the other skilled forwards that are on this team it’s going to be a pretty good combination of skill and talent up front. I’m really excited to be a part of this team and the process moving forward.”
The Oilers traded defenceman Martin Marincin to the Toronto Maple Leafs, in exchange for the 107th pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and forward Brad Ross.
Ross, an Edmonton native, was taken 43rd overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. He played 32 games for the Leafs AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, this past season. Ross recorded eight points an 62 penalty minutes.
The Oilers then moved the 107th overall pick and forward Travis Ewanyk to the Ottawa Senators, in exchange for defenceman Eric Gryba.
Gryba, 27, was taken in the third round of the 2006 NHL Draft. He has played 165 NHL games, registering four goals and 25 points, 187 penalty minutes and a +17 rating. He is a 6’4’’. 225-pound right-shot defenceman.
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In their second trade of the 2015 NHL Draft, the Oilers got the goaltender they’ve been searching for. Edmonton flipped the 57th, 79th and 184th overall picks to the NY Rangers, in exchange for Cam Talbot and the 209th selection.
Following last night’s first round, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said there were a couple goaltenders available via trade and that Edmonton would continue to have discussions. Those talks heated up about five picks into the second round when Chiarelli approached the Rangers table and took their GM Glen Sather aside for a talk.
Following that chat, Oilers Assistant GM Bill Scott later approached the table and he, along with a representative of the Rangers, submitted the trade card.
Talbot has a small sample size in the NHL, but he has posted good numbers. During the 2013-14 season, Talbot posted a record of 12-6-1 with a 1.64 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. He added three shutouts. This season, Talbot played 36 games and had a record of 21-9-4. He posted a 2.21 GAA, a .926 save percentage and five shutouts.
Talbot, 27, made his NHL debut on October 24, 2013 against Philadelphia. He made 25 saves on 27 shots for a .926 save percentage. His first NHL shutout came four games later against Montreal.
Talbot is listed as 6’3’’ and 195 pounds. He is a native of Caledonia, Ontario.
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AUDIO: Griffin Reinhart Interview
Edmonton Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced the club has traded the 16th and 33rd overall picks in the 2015 NHL Draft to the New York Islanders, in exchange for defenceman Griffin Reinhart.
Very excited to be a part of oil country once again!— Griffin Reinhart (@GriffinReinhart) June 27, 2015
Reinhart was taken 4th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry by the Islanders. He has played eight NHL games, all during the 2014-15 season, registering one assist, six penalty minutes and a +1 rating.
The 6’4’’, 217-pound blueliner made his NHL debut on October 10, 2014 in Carolina.
Reinhart is the former captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings, where he played 209 games and recorded 30 goals and 81 assists for 111 points. He had 164 penalty minutes and a +83 rating.
He captained the Oil Kings to a 2014 Memorial Cup Championship.
In 57 playoff games with the Oil Kings, Reinhart recorded nine goals and 19 assists, 56 penalty minutes and a plus-minus of +27.
Griffin is the son of former Calgary Flames defenceman Paul Reinhart and the brother of Flames centre Max and Buffalo Sabres centre Sam Reinhart.